As part of our initiatives to explore Design Education in India we organised an event in 2012 “Designing Better Designers”. A forum for discussion and exchange on Design Education, the event also aimed at building collaboration between design communities in India and UK, to fill gaps in their current education models.
“I just wanted to say that both countries are at tipping points in their development in terms of design profession.” – Penny Egan, Fulbright Commission UK
Following the event and the issues it raised, we look forward to our upcoming “India Design Education Study Tour”, to take place this October. The details of the two are as follows:
Designing Better Designers
In association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in India, we organised this event on 25 Feb 2012, at the British Council, New Delhi. It served as a platform for design educators, students and policy makers, to relook at design education and the role it plays in a rapidly growing India. The event was supported by Sushant School of Design and University of Arts London, and was held in three parts:
1. A panel discussion on “Design Education in India: where is it heading?”
“The government supports design education when it has a financial imperative; this causes the education to be industrially or technologically focussed. The government needs to be educated on the value of educating young people on the process of thinking” – M P Ranjan (Design Academic and Design Thinker)
Chaired by Penny Egan, this discussion was initiated with the hope of delivering practical outcomes for design education in India. Recognising the role of design in society, industry, economy and policy-making, the discussion was initiated to reflect upon the need to train larger number of designers, and the issues surrounding it.
“How do we interest those 7000 students at the high school level and prepare them for getting them into design school with the proper support they need – layers.” – Silvia Ojeda García, Academic Director, Raffles Millennium International, New Delhi.
The panel discussion brought to light, issues in teaching practice and pedagogy, as well as explored how to shape future ready, empowered and original designers. It generated an insight into opportunities for design students through scholarships and collaborations, and also promotion of design education in schools.
Further, the participants discussed on inclusivity, craftsmen and communities. A need to look beyond formal definition of design and structures of design institutes, to include craftsmen and skilled personnel was also identified.
2. Workshop for school students on “What is design? And how it can change your life?”
In the second part of the event, we hosted a hands-on design workshop for school students aged 12-16 years. The program ended with an exhibition of the students’ work and concluding talk by Mike Knowles.
3. Event for design students and educators, “What I wish they taught in a design school!”
We invited students and educators to discuss and explore issues within teaching practices that would be crucial in designing better designers. Continuing with the theme of the event, this provided an insight into different directions design teaching is headed, and aimed to serve as an inspiration for design students and teachers.
Prior to the event we had organised a competition “What you wish they taught in a design school!” where students were invited to send notes on what they wish was done differently at their design institutes, to give voice to their concerns and suggestions. Those selected were given a chance to present before and share their views with design educators at this event.
Design Education Delegation
From October 06 through October 11, 2013 a delegation of design educators would be participating in the “India Design Education Study Tour” being organised by the British Council at Design and Art Institutes in UK. Participants include educators from five design institutes in India accompanied by representatives from British Council India.
View list of Delegation from India